Top 5 Mistakes In Ezine Advertising
By Alessandro DeBarros
Ezine advertising has been glorified by experts the world over as the last refuge for the little guy/gal to make a buck online. Well, I hate to deliver bad news, and please don’t shoot the messenger, but there are some draw backs to ezine advertising and many of the Inner Sanctum E-Letter subscribers are making them daily. Let’s look at the most common mistakes and their solutions.
Mistake #1: Not Tracking Your Ads
Many business owners have no idea how they can track every ad they place. Whether for an affiliate program or their own product, they just don’t know. Not knowing what ad is working and producing the sale will cost you and your business thousands of dollars. When you know what ad produces and what ad doesn’t you can cut the worst of the ads and only keep the ad/s which is producing for your business.
–Solution–: If you own your own website and domain name, you can track every ad by creating a special redirect link that is only used in that ad. Or you can add a question mark to the end of the URL and check that on your stats page.
A simple, http://www.yourdomainname.com/pagename.html?trackingcode will suffice in most cases. Check with your web host to see if you have access to your web site stats log. Or sign up for one of the free/fee tracking services online.
Mistake #2: Writing Me-Too Ads
When writing your ad you must take your ego, your desire to boast about you and your company, out of the equation. An example of a me-too ad:
“Acme Law Offices have been in business for 20 years. Our staff of lawyers all graduated from Harvard Law School with honors. Call us at 1-800-acme-law today!”
–Solution–: Write benefit and results oriented ads. Example:
“Guaranteed Settlements! Win your settlement guaranteed and save 43% on attorney fees by calling ACME Law Offices at: (blah, blah, blah)”
This ad focuses completely on the end result, the main benefit. Guaranteed Settlements. Which ad do you think would pull more responses?
Mistake #3: Running Classifieds
Since they don’t cost much, business owners tend to use classifieds to save costs. Classifieds are cheap, $5-$20 per ad, and in most cases run faster than solo or top sponsor ads because the ezine publisher runs 10-20 per issue.
What’s not so commonly known is the fact classified sections are often times scanned by the reader (I scan past them every time) and get very little eye time.
–Solution–: Run Solo or Top sponsor ads. These ads get more exposure. They are exclusive (solo mailings) or only have 2-3 (sponsor ads) per issue spaced out between the content.
Mistake #4: Going for Large Subscriber Bases
Large subscriber stats are impressive. 30,000 subscribers is a ton of eye balls and the potential to return a profit is greatly increased. Well, this is completely untrue.
A recent test we ran took our breath away. We spent $180 on a solo ad to a subscriber base in a general marketing publication of 30,000 subscribers. We ran that same solo ad for $65 in an ezine about website design strategies with a subscriber base of 1200.
Ad #1 to 30,000+ brought back $0!
Ad #2 to 1200 specifically targeted subscribers brought back $900 in pure profit!
–Solution–: While tons of subscribers may seem like the right way to go, before you invest money, check out smaller, highly targeted ezines and test your ads in those. You’ll save money and odds are your returns will be greater.
Mistake #5: Running Your Ad Once
When I first started advertising in ezines, I would run one ad one time. If it didn’t produce results, I would switch ezines and run the ad again. This was how I tested the ad. Many business owners are doing the same thing today. By running the ad only once, you’re cutting your chances to profit in half.
Running it 2-3-4 times, even if the first run didn’t make a profit, gives your ad more exposure. Readers will “think” it’s producing because you ran it more than one time, therefore other subscribers must have thought it was worth looking at, helping your ad produce.
–Solution–: Run every ad at least twice. Then instead of switching ezines, switch ads. Run that ad twice. Do this with all your ads. You’ll be suprised to find the ezine actually produces profits for one ad but not another. So now you can run that ad 4-5-6 times and squeeze more profits from the ezine.
Ezine advertising is profitable. It takes testing, tracking, solo or top sponsor placments and more testing to pin point ezines with high sales ratio’s. Don’t give up on the ezine just because a successful ad from another test didn’t work. Place another ad, test it, test another and so on.
All you need is 5-10 profitable ezines and you’ll increase sales and profits for your business.
About the Author
Alessandro DeBarros is a web marketing specialist for BrandBlast http://brandblast.com , a CT based firm whose cutting edge hosting services is quickly being recognized around the world as a leader in its field. At a current base of 5,000 clients, BrandBlast specializes in small to medium business hosting, providing small businesses with the services and support they need at affordable prices.